Saturday, August 20, 2011
Posted: 4:55 pm EDT August 19, 2011Updated: 4:47 pm EDT August 20, 2011
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- A Lawrenceville family is grieving over the sudden death of their 15-year-old son after he suffered an allergic reaction to a cookie.
Jharrell Dillard, 15, had just entered his junior year at Gwinnett Central High School. He had a peanut allergy since childhood, and his father said he was always careful about what he ate. But on Tuesday night, a chocolate chip cookie cost him his life.
He told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh the teen was shopping with his mother and aunt Tuesday when he got hungry and remembered his aunt had some cookies in the car.
"The moment that he ate it, he realized there were nuts in the cookie," Dillard told Kavanaugh.
His son immediately called his mother, then ran to a nearby restaurant to rinse out his mouth. His mother called 911, got him some liquid Benadryl. The teen did not have his epinephrine injector, and the anaphylactic shock was setting in fast.
"The tongue swelling up. The throat swelling up, to not being able to breathe, to finally passing out," Dillard said.
Over the following few hours, the teen went from Walton Regional Hospital to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
"That's where he basically told me my son had a severe brain injury that he would never recover from," Dillard said.
His son died Wednesday night. Dillard said said he'll never know if the epinephrine injector would have saved his son's life, but his message to parents is, “Every second does count, and that EpiPen may save your child's life."